Better Homes and Gardens

With the jumbled mess in the side yard that used to be a somewhat neat portable shed, this is not the garden in which you will want to take pictures this week. Other messes include buckets filled with weeds, headed for the compost and various tools scattered around the yard.

A few weeks ago, some friends of mine began posting pictures on social media of their not-so-perfect spots in their yards. Did I participate? Well, no; I had too many to list! Besides, I’ve done that on a few occasions.

Our gardens are never like the ones in the pictures in the magazines, with everything blooming at once. How do they get that to happen? And what does that same garden look like a month later? Or a month earlier?

But these questions distract from the point. Unless you are a professional horticultural director and have at your disposal huge greenhouses full of plants ready to drop into the landscape as you take the fading ones out, your garden will never look picture-perfect. Well, unless you are Angie in Clarksville. Her only perceived cause for shame in the garden is that there is a garden hose on the back walkway, but everything is picture-perfect all the time.

That white tarp garden shed is now half-built…again. It blew down twice, and we finally taped the seams of the framework with duct tape. Maybe we will find the time and the interest to put it completely back together, and again neatly arrange the garden tools and countless empty pots for tending live plants. However, it will never resemble the beautiful rustic old sheds with weathered wood and a cute little porch with a rocking chair.

Those pictures on Pinterest with the neat rows of clay pots on rustic shelving don’t at all resemble my scavenged plastic shelving and mismatched plastic nursery pots. Besides, those photos don’t show the cobwebs and dirt that accumulates within a few hours!

Reality is a force to be reckoned with.

However quaint and neat we picture our homes and gardens in our goals, few of us quite achieve it. Messes happen. The very reasons for our homes are ironically the catalyst for the daily discombobulation of the domicile.

“Children are a gift of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3 NASB)….but they are little whirlwinds of destruction and chaos! Food is “created to be gratefully shared” (1 Timothy 4:3)….but oh, the messes it takes to make a fabulous meal.

How on earth are we to have better homes and gardens when the people for whom we do it are living, breathing embodiments of the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

By having the attitude of Joshua, as he began to lead the nation of Israel.

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

We know absolutely nothing about Joshua’s physical “house.” We do know that his household — his family — served the Lord.

Better homes start with better priorities.

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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